10 of the best baby and toddler books

It can never be too early to start reading to your baby, and as their vocabulary starts building, you can take them on new discoveries with brilliant new books

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MadeForMums reviews are independent and based on expertise and testing. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission, but this never influences our product choices.

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Finding a book that both you and your baby love going back to can sometimes be challenging. Here are our top ten books for babies and toddlers to make story time even more special.

 

1. That’s Not My Llama, Fiona Watt, Usborne, £6.99

Type: Touch Book

Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2019 Baby & toddler book – Gold

Babies absolutely love That’s Not My books – so much to poke, scratch at, and stroke.

The bright pictures and textures are designed to help develop sensory and language awareness.

This new llama addition sees some adorable llamas with tufty fur, shiny hooves, fuzzy noses and velvet soft ears.

If you like touch books, check out the Fingertrail Play Book Garden too.

Available from: Usborne, Amazon and Wordery

2. 1-2-3 Bubba in the Sea, Water Babies Bath book, Water Babies, £5.99

Type: Bath Book

Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2019 Baby & toddler book – Silver

Great waterproof entertainment at bath time. Help Bubba the whale count his friends and make the noises as he spies monkeys, ducks and penguins.

“This is a bright bath book that helps to teach children to learn their numbers from 1-10 in a fun way. It has colourful illustrations which are engaging and I think using bath time to help teach children to count is a great opportunity as they are relaxed and having fun.” says our judge Rebecca.

Top tip – bath books are also a bonus out of water when you have an extra dribbly baby.

Available from: Water Babies and Amazon

3. Giraffes Can’t Dance, Giles Andreae, Hatchette Children’s Group, £6.99

Type: Board Book

A feel-good story with joyful artwork. Gerald the tall giraffe wants to join in with all the other animals at the Jungle Dance, but everyone knows that giraffes can’t dance – or can they?

A funny, touching and triumphant story all about gaining confidence – it gets a big thumbs up from us.

Available from: The Book People, Blackwells and World of Books

4. Dear Zoo, Rod Campbell, Pan MacMillan, £6.99

Type: Lift the Flap Book

A wonderful lift the flap book that your baby will love making animal sounds to.

A classic story that has stood the test of time – this book was first published in 1982. It’s now been reissued as a sturdy board book, perfect for little hands.

A lovely story to keep your toddler engaged.

Available from: Blackwells and JoJo Maman Bebe

5. Princess Polly’s Potty, Andrea Pinnington, Ladybird, £6.99

Type: Sound Book

The perfect potty training companion, this book will really help if your little one is anxious about using the potty. Even princesses have to use them!

Join Polly’s potty journey with her, and press the cheer button when she – and your own Princess Polly – uses the potty correctly.

Available from: Blackwells, World of Books and Wordery

6. What The Ladybird Heard, Julia Donaldson, Pan Macmillan, £6.99

Type: Board Book

Witty, rhyming verses coupled with distinctive, colourful pictures. Julia Donaldson’s genius delivers another funny story.

The animals on the farm are always noisy, all except for the ladybird who never says a word. But when burglars plot to steal the farmer’s fine prize cow, it’s the quiet ladybird who comes up with the perfect way to stop their dastardly plan.

Lots of fun to read with little ones as they start making their first animal noises.

Available from: Blackwells, Waterstones and Book Depository

7. The Squirrels Who Squabbled Board Book, Rachel Bright, Hachette Children’s Group, £6.99 

Type: Board Book

If you want to help your little one learn about sharing – this book might just help.

Greedy squirrels Cyril and Bruce both have their sights on a very special prize: the very last nut of the season.

As the nut bounces crazily though the forest, the squirrels race after it, between the trees, over boulders, down the river and… right to the edge of a waterfall! Working together might be the only way to save themselves now …

A tale about friendship and sharing. Perfect for competitive friends and sibling rivals.

If you like Julia Donaldson, you’ll like this.

Available from: Waterstones, Wordery and The Book People

8. Brilliant Animals of Great Britain (The Little Black and White Book Project), £7.50

A distinctive and sustainable option, this book contains beautiful black and white illustrations of 12 animals from Great Britain.

From the fox, to the barn owl, to common frogs and otters, look with your baby and help stimulate their development and inspire an early love of wildlife.

Plus, 25% of profits will go to helping animal and wildlife charities worldwide.

This book is especially good for very young babies who can only detect large contrasts in colour.

Available from: Not on the High Street and Black and White Book Project

9. Baby’s Very First Fingertrail Play Book Garden, Fiona Watt, Usborne, £7.99

Type: Touch Book

A vibrant touch book that babies can trace their fingers along.

The illustrations are gorgeous, well thought out, and beautifully tactile.

There’s no actual story to read but it’s a real pleasure to look through with your little one.

Available from: Wordery, Amazon and World of Books

10. The Bedtime Bear (Tom and Bear) Board book, Ian Whybrow, Pan Macmillan, £5.99

Type: Lift the flap

Bedtime isn’t bedtime without a bear and Tom’s bear is on his way. Follow bear on his adventures as he finds his way back to Tom, from cycling through the jungle with a tiger to hitching a lift with a sheep on a jeep. This fun board book features witty rhymes and silly scenarios, as well as a flap to lift on every page.

Its packed with witty rhymes and silly scenarios – and the illustrations are by Axel Scheffler of The Gruffalo.

Available from: Wordery, Abe Books and Books Please

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